It seems to me that The ideas demanding communal aims are sophistry at it’s most dangerous.
The call for communal goals is the swan song of the romantic anti capitalist. From the folk ethos to the green movement there have always been people who call for communal aims. They claim the “moral” high ground yet decry if someone on the other side says the word moral. Because to the romantic anti capitalist the campaign takes the form of a moral imperative.
The campaign is of course the destruction of the market system. That is the goal. Communal aims are the means. Whether the notion resides in the id, ego or super ego, it is the overriding incentive for the romantic anti capitalist.
Calls for communal goals are ironic in that they are always espoused by people who pretend to advance the idea of “individualism.” The irony is that individuality as a philosophy is diametrically opposed to any communal goal. They are fundamentally incompatible.
Because a communal goal or aim subjugates the individual to the collective. The individual is not an end he or she is a means. The means to the communal end. The philosophy of individualism is that the individual must be allowed to make his or her own way. Like the point of the movie Easy Rider. Freedom is the highest goal for the individual. But freedom in one generates fear in another, etc…
This tension in the progressive philosophy is never examined… Probably because of where it would lead…
Adam Smith talked about how the political process can undermine economic progress. Universally the problems he lined out went back, in chain of causality, to one factor… People being foolishly self interested. Ignoring societal good for short term personal gain.
During the 1970s there was a lively debate why the economy had stagnated and yet inflation was out of control. Many pointed to the problems of political interference in markets to support this or that worthy cause. This debate was a mirror of earlier debates about the political process and economics. Basically some argued that democracy itself undermines economies by the mechanisms I have described.
We at the International Capitalist Party observe that the demographic shift in the labor force (large scale movement of women from unpaid to paid market activity), drove up unemployment. The added familial income driving up inflation. That inflation then drove up the cost of capital driving down investment in productive capacity. Because more profit could be made by investing in bonds at the high rate of return the high inflation generated.
The romantic anti capitalist knows economic history. They study the laws economics to find a way to game them. The wily romantic anti capitalist uses the propensity of democracy to undermine capitalism… to undermine capitalism. They know that if they can get a real economic downturn to happen people might begin to blame capitalism itself. Like we have heard from members of the Obama administration. Proclaiming ‘Capitalism is dead‘. (More like wishful thinking).
In this very real economic downturn, it is clear to see who is a romantic anti capitalist, by their rhetoric and actions. It is also clear to see who is more selfless in their regard for the common good. By their rhetoric and actions…
Because in reality the individual is ennobled by his magnanimity… Governments and societies are destroyed by it.